CANCELLED | Heritage: A History of How We Conserve Our Past - A Talk by James Stourton

Talk Heritage

Heritage is all around us: millions belong to its organisations, tens of thousands volunteer for it, and politicians pay lip service to it

When the Victorians began to employ the term in something approaching the modern sense, they applied it to cathedrals, castles, villages and certain landscapes. Since then a multiplicity of heritage labels have arisen, cultural and commercial, tangible and intangible – for just as every era has its notion of heritage, so does every social group, and every generation.

In Heritage, James Stourton focuses on elements of our cultural and natural environment that have been deliberately preserved: the British countryside and national parks, buildings such as Blenheim Palace and Tattersall Castle, and the works of art inside them. He charts two heroic periods of conservation – the 1880s and the 1960s – and considers whether threats of wealth, rampant development and complacency are similar in the present day. Heritage is both a story of crisis and profound change in public perception, and one of hope and regeneration.

James Stourton is a British art historian, a former Chairman of Sotheby's UK and the author of Great Houses of London, British Embassies, and the authorized biography of Kenneth Clark. Stourton frequently lectures to Cambridge University History of Art Faculty, Sotheby's Institute of Education and The Art Fund, and is a senior fellow of the Institute of Historical Research. He also sits on the Heritage Memorial Fund, a government panel which meets to decide what constitutes heritage and should be saved for the nation.

This event is in-person only and won't be streamed.

Doors open to the Cathedral library at 6.15pm.

Copies of Heritage: A History of How We Conserve Our Past will be on sale on the evening.